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Drug Withdrawn - Vioxx, A Perspective After National Arthritis Meeting

Vioxx (rofecoxib), a drug that has been used to quiet inflammation of arthritis and relieve pain, was withdrawn from the market by its maker, Merck, on September 30, 2004. The reason for the withdrawal was the occurrence of side effects noted in a study that Merck was conducting to see if Vioxx could prevent polyps of the colon and rectum. During this trial, it was noted that there was an increased risk for heart attack and stroke in patients continuing to take Vioxx longer than 18 months.

Below, the Medical Editor-in-Chief of, an arthritis specialist, gives a perspective on the withdrawal of Vioxx after attending the national arthritis meeting of the American College of Rheumatology October 16-21, 2004.

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